WASHINGTON – To improve the delivery of unemployment insurance services to people faced with obstacles to accessing state systems and benefits in Maryland, Nebraska and South Dakota, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of $11,406,000 in equity grants.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the grants will allow states to implement projects that seek to ensure race, age, ethnicity, language proficiency, disability status, geographic location or other systemic barriers do not prevent those in need from accessing unemployment insurance benefits.

Specifically, the department awarded $6,840,000 to Maryland, and $2,283,000 each to Nebraska and South Dakota. This is the fifth set of unemployment of grants awarded to states.

The grants will support projects designed to expand outreach, promote awareness, streamline instructions, provide translation services, improve technology, increase staffing and address disadvantaged communities’ other needs.

In August 2021, the department issued guidance to inform states about the availability of $260 million in grant funding. On March 1, 2022, the department announced the initial award of $20 million in grants to Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and announced a second award of nearly $16 million in additional funding to Alabama, Idaho, Missouri and New Mexico on March 29, 2022.

On May 2, 2022, the department announced the award of $20 million in funding to Indiana, Kentucky, Utah and Washington, and June 2, 2022, the department announced $9.1 million in funding to Texas.

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